jacobs ladder

iain mac
11th June 2006, 22:27
jacobs ladder
listening to bruce springsteens latest album,and this was a track.How many deckies remember dangling over the counter reading the after draught?.never forget as this was my first job at sea on the m.v naess talisman

dom
11th June 2006, 22:43
yes,and got wet doing so,on some coasters we had a draught?board with the no.s painted on it.it fitted over the stern wich you could read from the deck

firey
12th June 2006, 14:05
very dangerous ladders unless you knew how to climb them ie up the side of them like they do in the circus.
firey

slick
12th June 2006, 14:19
If my memory serves we also called them "Jumping Ladders" am I correct?, very handy for overside painting pad the rung and you could use them to finish off draught marks etc., obviously pre H Sand E legislation.
Yours aye,
Slick

oldbosun
12th June 2006, 17:10
That ladder was known to me all my seagoing days as just 'Pilot ladder' (Thumb)

Jeff Egan
12th June 2006, 17:52
A Jacobs ladder and a Pilot ladder are two completely different things.

Frank P
12th June 2006, 20:43
I agree with Jeff,
If I remember rightly the Pilot ladder had flat steps, and the Jacobs ladder had round steps, and the Jacobs ladder was alot narrower than the Pilot ladder.

Frank

sfmillsy
12th June 2006, 22:42
Quite right Frank.

When I look back I think I must have been mad climbing over the handrails of a perfectly good ship to chance my life on the most feeble looking of ladders in order to read the draft!

Those Jacob's ladders were a bit dodgy. I made sure I had made it fast myself and tested the weight whilst still holding on to the handrails. My technique was to climb down the edge of the ladder with the rounds, ( sorry for using fire service terms) I mean rungs, facing away from me between my legs.

I also made sure I had a good line tied around me with someone reliable on the other end.

I remember taking the aft draft when on the 'Simonburn' in Australia ( Port Dampier I think). There must have been at least a 15ft rise and fall of water and I was none too happy at the prospect of some sea going beastie eyeing me up. To even approximate the draft seemed to take an eternity and then there was the climb back up which was akin to climbing the Eifel Tower, or so it seemed. I always dreaded the climbing to get back over the rails as the ships side made it awkward to get a decent purchase on the ladder. Used to cause a bit of a 'knee trembler' if you will excuse the expression !

Oh well, better stop dreaming of old times like a daft old fool.

Pilot ladders were a lot easier.........Except if you are a pilot of course!


Regards

Steve Mills

Ships Agent
12th June 2006, 22:58
As a ships Agent we used to board tankers in ballast lying at anchor in deep water of Largs on the Clyde. We used to board with the customs officer (one launch,they paid) Once boarded a ship which I think was in the range of 100 thousand tons again with the customs remember this ship was in ballast and waiting to be laid up in Loch Striven the ladder was of the pilot type but was connected to an air hoist to drag the ladder up the side of the ship not nice. Worse still was when disembarking you again climbed on to the ladder at the top of the Sky Scraper fair enough but when the customs officer climbed on the ladder moved downward as the ropes securing it were not quite tight enough to hold it to the rail. I have never seen an old man move so fast or for that matter a customs officer look so pale. now I know that customs are loved the world over but this was maybe just a bit much to prove a point don't you think

benjidog
12th June 2006, 23:02
I used to climb down something very similar when I did potholing when too stupid to know better. Technique was the same - you climbed down the side of it. If you tried to climb down with the rungs face on to you the damn things swung away from you.

Whilst doing this we were also attached to a safety line held by another member of the party in case you lost your grip on the ladder.

Did you guys have a safety line or just hold on to the ladder with your hands? Without one, especially in that location, it sounds ten times more dangerous than potholing and frankly just plain crazy.

Brian

Lookout
12th June 2006, 23:02
Little story about a jacobs ladder!

My mate and I joined one of Denholm's bulk carriers in Port Talbot, where she had been laid up for a few months. The bosun and one or two others had joined before us, but the rest of the crew turned up later. She was well out of the water, tied up at buoys and the bosun asked my mate and I if we would kindly paint the draught numbers on the bow on Sunday morning.

Sunday dawned after a heavy night ashore and it was with throbbing heads and swollen tongues that we rigged our bosuns chairs on either side of the bow and lowered ourselves down. It was a lovely morning however and we soon began to feel better and debate which fleshpots we would grace with our company that evening. An Ordinary Seaman had been assigned to keep us supplied with paint and otherwise tend to our needs; thirst being the most pressing.

By noon we had painted the lowest numbers and were sitting facing each other with our feet in the water under the flare of the bow. We called to our tender to lower the jacobs ladder, which he did - but it only reached halfway down the bow. After much swearing and hurling of threats and imprecations at the unfortunate OS, we finally took his word for it that he wasn't holding back part of the ladder. We concluded that there was nothing for it but to haul ourselves up the gantlines and transfer to the ladder.

I thought my mate was going to die laughing as I accepted his challenge to go first. I could hear him chortling away below me as I laboriously clawed my way hand over hand up the gantline, last night's drink oozing from every pore in my body. I finally reached the jacobs ladder and with a supreme effort dragged myself onto it, climbing (as prescribed) up one side of it. With my last ounce of strength I heaved myself over the gunwale and lay in a gasping heap beside the windlass.

When I got sufficient strength back to stand up, I looked over the bow; my mate was still sitting with his feet in the water and he wasn't laughing any more. "Right you b*****d" I croaked, "your turn". I watched as he repeated my own performance up the gantline and reached the jacobs ladder. However, every time he reached out for the ladder, the other hand would start to slide down the gantline. He got to the ladder three times and each time the same thing happened. Finally, with a despairing look upwards at my grinning face, he said "f**k it", flung his arms wide and plummeted into the harbour.

He came up gasping and spluttering, swam over to the nearest buoy, pulled out his fags and tried to light one.

The moral of this story is - ALWAYS CHECK THE LENGTH OF YOUR JACOBS LADDER- or carry waterproof cigarettes.

Ships Agent
12th June 2006, 23:08
I used to climb down something very similar when I did potholing when too stupid to know better. Technique was the same - you climbed down the side of it. If you tried to climb down with the rungs face on to you the damn things swung away from you.

Whilst doing this we were also attached to a safety line held by another member of the party in case you lost your grip on the ladder.

Did you guys have a safety line or just hold on to the ladder with your hands? Without one, especially in that location, it sounds ten times more dangerous than potholing and frankly just plain crazy.

Brian
Whats a safety line? unheard of in the mid seventies (health and safety did not apply) We also used to carry a brief case with us customs had a strap to go over the shoulder me I had a hand stuck through the handle

billyboy
13th June 2006, 01:10
Little story about a jacobs ladder!

My mate and I joined one of Denholm's bulk carriers in Port Talbot, where she had been laid up for a few months. The bosun and one or two others had joined before us, but the rest of the crew turned up later. She was well out of the water, tied up at buoys and the bosun asked my mate and I if we would kindly paint the draught numbers on the bow on Sunday morning.

Sunday dawned after a heavy night ashore and it was with throbbing heads and swollen tongues that we rigged our bosuns chairs on either side of the bow and lowered ourselves down. It was a lovely morning however and we soon began to feel better and debate which fleshpots we would grace with our company that evening. An Ordinary Seaman had been assigned to keep us supplied with paint and otherwise tend to our needs; thirst being the most pressing.

By noon we had painted the lowest numbers and were sitting facing each other with our feet in the water under the flare of the bow. We called to our tender to lower the jacobs ladder, which he did - but it only reached halfway down the bow. After much swearing and hurling of threats and imprecations at the unfortunate OS, we finally took his word for it that he wasn't holding back part of the ladder. We concluded that there was nothing for it but to haul ourselves up the gantlines and transfer to the ladder.

I thought my mate was going to die laughing as I accepted his challenge to go first. I could hear him chortling away below me as I laboriously clawed my way hand over hand up the gantline, last night's drink oozing from every pore in my body. I finally reached the jacobs ladder and with a supreme effort dragged myself onto it, climbing (as prescribed) up one side of it. With my last ounce of strength I heaved myself over the gunwale and lay in a gasping heap beside the windlass.

When I got sufficient strength back to stand up, I looked over the bow; my mate was still sitting with his feet in the water and he wasn't laughing any more. "Right you b*****d" I croaked, "your turn". I watched as he repeated my own performance up the gantline and reached the jacobs ladder. However, every time he reached out for the ladder, the other hand would start to slide down the gantline. He got to the ladder three times and each time the same thing happened. Finally, with a despairing look upwards at my grinning face, he said "f**k it", flung his arms wide and plummeted into the harbour.

He came up gasping and spluttering, swam over to the nearest buoy, pulled out his fags and tried to light one.

The moral of this story is - ALWAYS CHECK THE LENGTH OF YOUR JACOBS LADDER- or carry waterproof cigarettes.

Nice one Lookout, I can just visualise all that taking place, would have been damned funny to watch mate. (Thumb)

terval
25th November 2006, 10:12
:sweat: Greetings one and all. The threads remind me of an incident on one of the Naess ships. I told the Chinese chippie to clear one of the deck scuppers using the new air gun. I watched from my cabin window as he tried from the deck to no avail. Then he put a ladder over the side (mid atlantic) and proceeded to lower himself to the level of the scupper. A helper lowered the gun to him and he placed it squarely over the outlet, leaned into it and pulled the trigger. He and the gun proceeded outwards at a vast rate of knots, the gun beating him by a couple of fathoms. Fortunately he was securely attached to the ladder but the gun was not. Try explaining that to Head Office.
Happy days.
Terry 556919